Collecting: Funerary

Caption to come

“Margaret, relict of the late Charles Jeffrey”

I love paper, I love type, and I love printing. Ephemeral items comprising any of those elements will attract my attention.

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In Victorian times, black borders were used on personal correspondence until mourning ceased.

So when I found a pile of funeral notices from the 1880s and 90s at Chief Salvage I couldn’t resist taking them home and pouring over them like an old novel. Aside from their typographic beauty, the individual notices contain so much mystery!

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These are all folded pieces of paper; the folded leaf is blank

Who were these people? How did this little collection of notices survive? Who collected them?

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I think these two are my favourites

Here is a close-up of the one on the left:

Look how beautiful that type is!

Gorgeous typography

Notice how large the full-stops and commas are and their skewed positioning in the close-up above. Shortage of type for the press or a new type trend?

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If you hold them up to the light, you can see how beautiful the paper is. In the last two photos, you can see the watermarks:

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I photographed these against a window, to bring out the watermarks

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Most are from Cannington, and surrounding areas, about an hour’s drive, north of Toronto. I think a visit to the cemeteries mentioned in these notices is in order this Spring. So, stay tuned for part two!

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About Ian Phillips Illustration

I am an illustrator and book designer. View all posts by Ian Phillips Illustration

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